Why British Businesses Are Investing in Smart Offices
The smart office market has experienced significant growth over the past years. Statistics show that this positive trend is not going away, with the European smart office market poised to grow at a CAGR of 7.6% between now and 2028. Some of the major drives behind this growth include the advancement of IoT technologies, reduced energy costs, and favourable government regulations.
Let’s explore in greater detail why British businesses are investing in smart offices.
Smart offices can boost productivity
Smart offices operate by leveraging numerous modern technologies, including IoT devices, AI, robotic process automation and analytics software. By working in concert, these solutions allow organisations to boost productivity in a number of ways.
First, they can free up employees by automating repetitive tasks, such as document management and data entry. Doing so leaves workers with more time and energy to focus on their core activities and more creative tasks, which positively impacts the workplace’s overall performance.
Second, smart office technologies can be programmed to adjust lighting, temperature and sound levels in a way that boosts productivity. For example, when sensors detect that the temperature is too high or too low, they signal the HVAC system to adjust it accordingly.
Facial recognition solutions can be used to track employee attendance and engagement levels, giving managers accurate data to measure their performance and reward those most committed.
Finally, by leveraging data analytics software, smart offices can provide managers with real-time insights into the performance of their operations. This information can be used to identify issues or missed opportunities and take proactive actions.
Smart offices can increase employee satisfaction and retention
Dissatisfied employees are more likely to consider leaving the company and finding employment elsewhere. Statistics show that replacing employees can cost the company between 30% and 50% of their annual salary.
Smart offices can positively affect employee satisfaction, thus helping the company retain its employees.
For example, using smart desks can maximise the comfort of employees working long hours, while smart lighting can change the brightness of the office based on the time of day and create a more relaxing environment.
Smart offices also provide workers with more flexibility. Instead of having to work at the same fixed desk for the whole day, they can move freely in the office and work in different spots.
Thanks to voice recognition solutions, workers can quickly access documents without typing out commands and manually searching through files.
Smart offices facilitate collaboration
Improved collaboration is another significant benefit of using smart office solutions.
Smart conferencing tools allow remote workers or partners to interact with the office’s physical staff as if they were in the room and seamlessly share and work on documents with other employees.
Modern technologies also opened up various layout options for any office or boardroom. For instance, the more cramped spaces can be fitted with a video conference room that accommodates a select group and one display. This can be scaled up to fit more extensive areas by attaching multiple, larger monitors, making sure every participant is seen and heard even in the busiest of conferences.
Smart offices provide increased security
Recent technological advancements have also revolutionised office security.
Businesses can now use a number of advanced access control solutions to ensure that only authorised personnel can access the premises. For example, workers can now replace their smartphones with cards or fobs. This insulates the office from the risk of strangers accessing the premises in case cards, or fobs are stolen or lost. Unlike these tools, smartphones require a passcode to be used and can be more easily blocked remotely by the user. For maximum effectiveness, businesses should hire a professional access control system installer when adding these solutions to their offices.
For areas of the office that need extra safety, businesses can now use advanced solutions like facial recognition to grant access. This technology works by comparing the face of someone trying to access the room or area with a list of pre-approved faces.
Businesses can also implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) to reinforce their access control measures. MFA requires users to provide more than one type of authentication (such as entering a PIN on a keypad and then passing a biometric scan) in order to access a given area or system.
Video analytics software is another smart solution through which offices can increase the overall level of security. It works by collecting and analysing large volumes of video security footage to detect irregular patterns that may indicate suspicious activities. For example, it can identify when a person stays for too long in a certain area or moves around in an unexpected fashion. This can help security staff intervene before any damage is done.
Smart offices allow businesses to reduce costs
Smart offices can also help organisations lower their costs compared to traditional offices.
For example, automating repetitive tasks can help businesses reduce labour costs related to manual operations. Additionally, modern data analytics solutions can help managers identify areas where the company is overspending so that action can be taken to optimise costs.
Smart lighting and smart HVAC systems can significantly cut energy bills by adjusting to the current requirements of the space. For example, smart lighting solutions can automatically reduce the level of artificial light when natural light is available, while smart HVAC systems can adjust temperatures according to the number of people in a room. Moreover, motion sensors can detect when nobody is using the space and automatically turn off the lights and the heating.
Organisations can also use sensors to monitor the conditions of the office and forecast when different assets will need maintenance. This practice is known as predictive maintenance. When using traditional processes and scheduling maintenance at specific time intervals, there is always the risk of either too much or too little maintenance. In contrast, predictive maintenance allows businesses to schedule repairs or replacements only when necessary, thus saving both time and money.
Finally, smart security solutions can prevent a number of undesirable events, such as theft, break-ins and fires, with a positive impact on the company’s finances.